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Govt committed to strengthening ties with diaspora — PM

Thursday, July 31, 2014    

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PRIME Minister Portia Simpson Miller has assured Jamaicans in the United Kingdom (UK) of Government's commitment to strengthening ties with the diaspora as part of the nation building process.

"The Government of Jamaica looks forward to continuing its partnership and strong bonds of friendship with the Jamaican community in the United Kingdom as it seeks to engage all Jamaicans living overseas, as well as friends of Jamaica, in its thrust to make Jamaica the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business, in line with the National Development Plan: Vision 2030," she said.

The prime minister's comments came in a message at the annual Independence service held in London last Saturday which was read by High Commissioner to the UK Aloun Ndombet Assamba.

Simpson Miller hailed the inclusion of the first ever National Family Day as part of the Independence celebrations in the UK, and urged the Jamaican nationals to use the occasion to connect with their roots in the island.

"The event serves to reinforce the importance of the Jamaican family, which we believe, is the most important unit in the development of our society. Let me use this opportunity to encourage the entire Jamaican community in the United Kingdom to celebrate this day by connecting with their families and their roots back home," she stated.

High Commissioner Ndombet-Assamba, for her part, encouraged persons to sign up to the Diaspora Mapping Project.

She said the survey aims to capture the location, interests and skills of persons, which will result in the establishment of a database to support the Government of Jamaica's policy direction and interaction with members of the diaspora.

She also praised the UK Diaspora for their hard work and continued dedication to Jamaica.

"You, our citizens in the UK diaspora, have for generations contributed to this country through your hard work, commitment and selflessness. You have also continued to be dedicated to your families and various communities back home in Jamaica. You have used your self-confidence, creativity and determination to make a home for yourselves here, while not forgetting your homeland," she said.

National Presiding Bishop of the New Testament Assembly the Right Rev Delroy Powell, in his sermon, reminded the congregation that they are standing on the shoulders of those who came before and that they have a responsibility to preserve the legacy of the forefathers for future generations.

The service also acknowledged the centenary of World War I and the 70th anniversary of D-Day, initiating the Western Allied effort to liberate mainland Europe from Nazi occupation during World War II, and paid tribute to the Jamaican men and women, who served in both wars. The proceeds from the service will go to the Jamaica Legion, which maintains the Curphey Home for ex-servicemen

in Jamaica.

There was a special performance of Bob Marley's Redemption Song by the group True Identity, and a special dance of praise choreographed by Jackie Guy.

The flag bearers were members of the Jamaica Ex-Soldiers Association, while the officiating clergy were Senior Pastor Peter Loo from the Emmanuel Evangelical Church; Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and to Her Majesty the Queen the Rev Rose Hudson Wilkin; and General Secretary of the Assembly of the First Born, Rev Errol Vassell.

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